How you can get vouchers to eat for free at Vienna restaurants

Vienna cafe
The vouchers will be for use in gastronomy businesses in Vienna, from restaurants to the famous coffeehouses. Photo: Rick Govic/AFP
If you're doing your Christmas shopping in Vienna this weekend, you have the chance to get vouchers that allow you to eat for free at restaurants as part of a scheme aimed at boosting the economy post-lockdown.

A total of €4 million in vouchers to use at Viennese restaurants will be given to shoppers this weekend, the city’s council and chamber of commerce announced on Wednesday.

Anyone who shops at a brick-and-mortar store in Vienna (not online) this weekend can submit their receipt to receive some of the vouchers. The council said that “at least 50 percent of the invoice amount will then be reimbursed, up to a maximum of €100” and that the vouchers would be given in €25 amounts.

Because the total amount is capped, these will be raffled off between everyone who takes part in the campaign. People who take part will have the chance to get up to 50 percent of their purchase amount back in vouchers, up to a maximum of €100.

To be eligible, your purchase needs to take place on December 18th or 19th — the retail sector has been allowed to open on Sunday to make up for some of the turnover lost during the fourth lockdown in a rare exception to Austria’s strict Sunday closing laws. 

Only receipts from shops which were closed during the lockdown are eligible, so pharmacies, supermarkets and food shops are not included. You don’t need to be resident in Vienna to take part, but just need to do your shopping in a Viennese store, and you do need to be aged 16 or over.

READ ALSO: Can I travel to Austria for tourism after lockdown?

The raffle is set to take place in January, with the vouchers expected to be valid from February.

Mayor Michael Ludwig said the initiative was a way of showing appreciation for “the retail sector, the gastronomy sector and all those who have had to wait to do their Christmas shopping so far”.

The city council has launched a website for the initiative, wiener-weihnachtszuckerl.at, though at the time of publication it simply said more information would be added shortly.

In Vienna, non-essential retail stores re-opened after the lockdown on Monday, but restaurants and cafes remain closed until December 20th, making it the last of Austria’s nine regions to re-open gastronomy.

READ ALSO: What are the current Covid rules in Austria?


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